Hotel Transylvania Movie Review
Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky
Written by Peter Baynham and Robert Smigel, based on a story by Todd Durham, Dan Hageman, and Kevin Hageman
Release Date: 28 September 2012
Running Time: 91 minutes
Editor’s Rating: 3 bagels with Scream Cheese out of 4
So, you’re Dracula. You get approached by Adam Sandler, who wants to do this documentary on your brand-new hotel. Of course you have some questions. One - how does Adam frickin’ Sandler of all people know how to get in contact with Dracula, first of the nightstalkers, scion of darkness, sire to countless generations of the undead. How did the Chanukah Song guy find you?
Well, you’re kinda hurting for PR since you got hungry at the last strategy meeting, so you decide to not look this gift horse in the mouth. You were figuring that he was wanting to do one of those “reality Tee-Vee” shows they’re always talking about. To your surprise, he wants to do an animated thing with Sony Pictures Animation! Well, they’re no Pixar or Dreamworks, but they did that really great Arthur Christmas (link here) and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, so it might turn out pretty good. So after you let him and his team run around your hotel for some inspiration, they pow-wow their ideas with you. And while it might not hit the target demographic you’re hoping for, you realize that this new one The Waterboy is targeting might be even better for business.
Looking back, you were never that close to those flicks with Lugosi or Oldman or whoever else was butchering your likeness on screen back then. For some reason though, you decide to actually follow this one pretty closely. Who knows, you might even get an executive producer credit or something. However, something becomes painfully relevant as you try to be part of “the process.” You’ve been around for a while. You have lived for thousands of years and watched the passage of mortals as they flit in and out of existence like so many fruitless sparks. But for the love of all that’s unholy, these animated flicks take forever to produce! Eventually you just settle on checking in when Little Nicky and friends want to fill you in, and that’s just fine for you.
A couple years down the line, Operaman and his cronies have a rough cut for you to watch. Is there a word in English for being reminded about something and automatically being excited at the same time? ‘Cause if there was, that’d be what you were right then. So you check it out and… well, let’s just say you have some notes.
First off, you remember why you haven’t done animation in a while. When Friz Freleng at Chuck Jones came to you, they made you look like a fool just to make their character Buds Bindle or whatever his name was look good. While they definitely got your powers of celerity and mind control correct, the bat you can transform into is much cooler-looking. Why do you always have that dumb accent? You’re not even from there, you just vacationed there one summer when you were kinda… testy. They did get one thing right - you never did say “Bleh bleh-bleh.”
And, while you can get that they want to chase this whole love story using your daughter (which one, by the way? You’ve got, like, thousands), do they always have to make you look like such a bumbling narcissist? And after all the crap you end up putting your daughter through, do you really think a grudge-happy teenager is going to let you off the hook that easy? More importantly, does Eight Crazy Nights think his audience is that dumb?
“Come on,” you tell the guys. “Really?”
Billy Madison just shrugs and replies in that manchild voice of his. “Twust me.”
And you think maybe you should. After all, the animation is spot on, giving even more humor to the physical gags the film is loaded with, and the jokes, while silly, are perfectly paced and pay off perfectly. You find yourself laughing out loud several times while watching it. And while you were never really one for “love,” you decide that the romance between the human and your daughter actually holds the movie together sufficiently enough to maximize the laughs. It’s not too bad, you finally decide, and when you walk out, you’re not sure who convinced you of it.
“Welcome to Hollywood, Drac,” you tell yourself. You hope this movie doesn’t catch on, because you realize you’d rather eat garlic bread with a silver fork than sit in a room with The Zohan for another minute.
**I own this film. I was not compensated for this review.**
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